Ricki Lake opens up after losing 35 pounds: 'This is what happy looks like'

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Thursday, May 9, 2024
Ricki Lake opens up after weight loss: 'This is what happy looks like'
Ricki Lake opens up after weight loss: 'This is what happy looks like'

Ricki Lake is speaking out for the first time about her recent weight loss journey, saying she was able to shed 35 pounds without using medication.

Lake told "Good Morning America" she made a decision to take a bet on herself, and in the process, discovered a newfound happiness.

"I feel the best I can remember feeling in my life," Lake told ABC News' Kayna Whitworth. I have this new marriage and I'm so blissfully happy with this amazing man, my perfect man. And if I pinpoint one thing that was not working in our lives, is that we were carrying this extra weight."

Throughout her longtime career, Lake has been an open book about her weight challenges and health struggles. But in the last seven months, she said she and her husband teamed up to lose weight and began to share their joint journey on Instagram.

"It's been a commitment. You know, it's been a financial commitment. It's been a like, a time commitment," Lake said. "But it's awesome. Like, I'm just, I'm so happy and proud of us."

Lake said at 55 years old, she is in perimenopause and said a doctor suggested she go on medication to help her lose weight, an idea she wasn't on board with.

"He was saying you weren't going to be successful without it, is what he said to me," Lake recalled. "And I like a challenge. And I like proving people wrong. And so, it pissed me off."

Lake said she was "reluctant" about relying on medications and instead wanted to take on a lifestyle change.

"I just was reluctant. And I wanted to give it a go on my own. And so I said to my husband, 'You want to go on this ride with me?' And he's like, 'Sure,'" Lake said.

Lake and her husband of two years, Ross Burningham, began intermittent fasting, started following the keto diet and began exercising, including doing Pilates and sleep tracking.

Lake said their major changes paid off and she has dropped 35 pounds since October. She said Burningham has dropped nearly 40 pounds.

"This is a lifestyle change. I've made this my job. And it's become my joy," Lake said. "Like, I just, I love it. I think it's safe to say I'm in the best shape of my life."

"I say, 'This is what happy looks like.' This is really, I could cry. I'm so happy. I'm so happy," Lake added.

In March, Lake showed off her weight loss by donning her famous red swimsuit, which she wore for the cover of Us Weekly in May 2007. She recently re-wore another dress she walked the red carpet in at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival.

"Oh, this old thing?? Just had it hanging around. Originally wore this dress to the Business of Being Born world premiere in 2007 and now here I am wearing it again in 2024!" Lake captioned her Instagram post.

Burningham compared his wife's "dedication" to her weight loss journey as one of a dog chasing a bone.

"She's tenacious," he said. "When she decides that she's gonna do something, she's all in and just goes after it. And it's inspiring."

For anyone looking to make a change themselves, Lake said she recommends starting from a place of positivity and gratitude and then putting in the hard work to make it happen.

With her newfound energy, Lake is pouring herself into helping others through her work with Community Access, an organization that provides job training and housing assistance to people struggling with mental illness. It's a cause she embraces in honor of her late husband Christian Evans, who died by suicide after experiencing mental health issues.

"I think he's magic up there and he's watching over me," Lake said. "I believe he handpicked Ross for me. Yeah, I have a deep, deep knowing that he's left his mark with me."

Lake said now, she's looking forward to the future, and her best days are just on the horizon.

"I've been famous since (I was) 18 years old, from 'Hairspray.' And yet, these are the sweetest of days," Lake said.